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Gender and the Mexican Revolution

Yucat?n Women and the Realities of Patriarchy

Stephanie J. Smith

Publication Year: 2009

Smith analyzes the various regulations introduced by Yucat?n's two revolution-era governors, Salvador Alvarado and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. Like many revolutionary leaders throughout Mexico, the Yucat?n policy makers professed allegiance to women's rights and socialist principles. Yet they, too, passed laws and condoned legal practices that excluded women from equal participation and reinforced their inferior status.

Published by: The University of North Carolina Press


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Title Page, Copyright Page

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pp. vii-viii

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pp. ix-xii

In 1997 I visited the Yucatecan state archives in Mérida, where I randomly ordered a box of documents from the municipal archives of Valladolid. What I discovered inside inspired this book. The dusty container held no less than forty-eight judicial records of poor people, including many Maya women, ...

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Introduction: Women and the Radical Revolutionary Laboratory

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pp. 1-20

Simona Cen, Catalina Chimal, Prudencia Cauich, Rosalía Almeida de Rivas, María Rosa Guillermo, Juana Duran, and Narcisa Alcocer all appeared before the revolutionary military tribunals in Yucatán in 1915.1 At first glance, it would appear that these seven women had few traits in common and little to do with the epic events of the Mexican Revolution. ...

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One: Redefining Women: The Making of a Revolution

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pp. 21-53

In early 1918 Mérida’s El Correo, an “independent” daily newspaper, printed a stern warning to all Yucatecan women who desired to move beyond conventional cultural boundaries.1 Graphically informing its readers of the dangers that awaited women in the modern world, the piece discussed the shocking disappearance of three innocent women.2 ...

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Two: Broken Promises, Broken Hearts: The Revolutionary Judicial System

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pp. 54-83

In 1915 a young Maya orphan named Simona Cén appeared before the revolutionary military commander in Yucatán’s second-largest city, Valladolid. To avoid “dying of hunger,” she lived as a refugee in a local hospital with her sick baby son. Simona told the commander that she had been taking care of herself from the age of eight, ...

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Three: Honor and Morality: The Church, the State, and the Control of Yucatecan Families

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pp. 84-114

In February 1923 a thirty-two-year-old single mother named Soledad Cadena appeared at Mérida’s police department with a shocking complaint. She reported that two days earlier, she had sent her six-year-old daughter, Casilda, along with another little girl, María, to run some errands. ...

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Four: If Love Enslaves . . . Love Be Damned! Divorce and Revolutionary State Formation in Yucatán

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pp. 115-144

On 16 May 1917 Yucatán’s Constitutionalist newspaper of the Mexican Revolution, La Voz de la Revolución, published a letter written by Amelia Azarcoya Medina. Composed a week earlier and addressed to Governor Salvador Alvarado, the letter appealed for the governor’s help in the matter of Amelia’s divorce from her husband, ...

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Five: Women in Public and Public Women: Prostitutes in Revolutionary Yucatán

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pp. 145-173

On 15 December 1916 Ticul’s local authorities dragged Teodora Estrada before the local revolutionary military commander on charges of prostitution. After listening to the evidence against her, Teodora denied the shameful accusation and defended her honor. ...

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pp. 174-180

In December 1924 Mérida’s city officials proudly hosted a pageant to choose “the most beautiful woman of our popular classes to wear the gentle dress of the ‘Mestiza yucateca.’”1 In many ways, this festival paralleled Mexico City’s 1921 India Bonita Contest, where the local newspaper, El Universal, sponsored the search for the loveliest indigenous woman ...


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pp. 181-216


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pp. 217-244


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pp. 245-257

E-ISBN-13: 9781469605753
E-ISBN-10: 1469605759
Print-ISBN-13: 9780807832844
Print-ISBN-10: 0807832847

Page Count: 272
Illustrations: 2 line drawings, 1 map
Publication Year: 2009

OCLC Number: 646733121
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Gender and the Mexican Revolution

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Subject Headings

  • Women revolutionaries -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Women political activists -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Yucatán (Mexico : State) -- Politics and government -- 1910-1946.
  • Political participation -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Women's rights -- Mexico -- Yucatán (State) -- History -- 20th century.
  • Yucatán (Mexico : State) -- History -- Revolution, 1910-1920 -- Women.
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